L.A. Notes: Walker, Lakers, Davis, Clippers, Batum

Lakers swingman Lonnie Walker, who earned a second consecutive start on Wednesday, sustained a “mild” left ankle sprain in the third quarter, per head coach Darvin Ham. Walker will be reevaluated on Thursday, but he’s not experiencing any swelling or overt pain, a source tells Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link).

The Lakers, having started Walker and Patrick Beverley on Wednesday alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, continue to search for the right starting lineup fit as the preseason winds down, writes Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times.

“We get an opportunity to throw some stuff at the wall and see what sticks,” Ham said prior to the game. “We already know our three main guys — Russ, Bron, AD. Those guys as well are getting used to playing with one another. That was very limited last year. So we look at it as an opportunity to just shake the rug and just shake things up and see what makes sense once it all starts to come together.”

The Lakers will play one more preseason game on Friday before next Tuesday’s regular season opener.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two Los Angeles teams:

  • Anthony Davis still prefers to play power forward, but is willing to start and finish games at center if that’s what the Lakers and Ham ask of him. I trust Coach’s decision,” Davis said on Wednesday (Twitter link via McMenamin). “I mean, I’m pretty sure he heard AD wants to play the four, so he knows where I stand, but at the end of the day, I want to win, so if that’s me playing the five, that’s what it’s got to be.
  • Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said he thought going into Wednesday’s game that he knew who would start at point guard, but he’s less certain about that spot after being displeased with how the team opened the game (Twitter link via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN). Starting point guard Reggie Jackson had just one point in 12 minutes, while John Wall had eight points and four assists in 10 minutes off the bench.
  • In an interview on the French television channel Canal+ (video link), Clippers forward Nicolas Batum spoke about the mental health challenges he has faced during his NBA career, as Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops relays. Batum, whose father died of an aneurysm at age 31, was diagnosed with a heart issue before he entered the NBA and worried about his own health and family. “I was convinced the same would happen to me and that I was going to leave my family,” he said. “I asked my wife to not come to the games because I did want to see them in the stands.”
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